My family and friends have been taste testers for several recipes from The Matcha Miracle, a new cookbook written by Dr. Mariza Snyder, Dr. Lauren Clum, and Anna V. Zulaica and published by Ulysses Press. Dr. Snyder is a wellness practitioner, Dr Clum is a chiropractor, and Anna Zulaica is a nutrition consultant. All three authors have been co-authors on other cookbooks. Lasheeda Perry, the fourth contributor to the book, is not listed on the cover. Lasheeda has an undergraduate degree from Johnson & Wales and has worked on the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts culinary team.
There are four chapters in the book. The first three focus on the history, benefits, and use of matcha. The fourth chapter is composed of recipes and is subdivided into five sections: Tea, Smoothies and Adult Beverages, Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks, and Dessert. A strong feature of this cookbook is the range of recipes. Matcha is used beyond drinks and desserts. In the Lunch and Snacks section, matcha is treated as a spice, and a savory one at that.
I made three beverages (Classic Matcha Tea, Homemade Matcha Nut Milk, Chocolate Matcha Shake), one breakfast item (Breakfast Toast), and one dessert (Dark Chocolate Matcha Truffles). To prepare a bowl of thin matcha, I added two (not heaping) chashaku of matcha to my chasen, poured a small amount of hot (not boiling) water and whisked in a "m" motion, then thinned out the tea with more water, again whisking in a "m" motion. Since I was using culinary grade matcha, I added a bit of raw honey to sweeten the tea.
The Dark Chocolate Matcha Truffles was our favorite of the five recipes I made. I served the truffles at a weekend block party and they received rave reviews. Thanks to Ulysses Press the entire recipe is excerpted below. A couple things to note before preparing these tasty truffles. At room temperature, the ganache was not firm enough to scoop into neat balls. [My recommendation: chill the ganache in the bowl then scoop balls onto parchment paper and then chill them the balls.] Also, at some point, the chilled ganache balls will warm up while they wait their turn to be rolled into uniform truffles and dipped in matcha. [My recommendation: roll them in batches. Also, sprinkle matcha over the entire parchment sheet and then roll the truffles in the matcha.]
Dark Chocolate Matcha Truffles
Makes 24 Truffles
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
⅔ cup chopped semisweet chocolate *I used semisweet chocolate chips*
¼ cup matcha green tea powder *I used Mizuba Culinary Grade Matcha*
In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream and butter over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the chopped chocolate to the scalded cream and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Cover the bowl very well with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once the ganache is cooled and set, using a small scoop, scoop balls of the ganache onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
Roll the balls with your hands into smooth, uniform balls. Dip each ganache ball into the matcha and shake off the excess. Serve at room temperature.
The Breakfast Toast was the runner-up recipe. The combination of sprouted bread, whole milk ricotta, matcha, raw honey, and sea salt hit all the right notes, and in a balanced way.
There are several more recipes I'd like to make from the book, mostly in the lunch and snacks and desserts sections. I think the proportions in the beverage section need some tweaking. The nut milk and chocolate shake were not as flavorful as we expected. The flavor of the cashews was not pronounced in nut milk even before adding the matcha. With 1.5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, the chocolate shake was barely chocolatey. I compensated by adding more cocoa powder but that only overpowered the matcha flavor. It would be great to see photographs and coated pages in a second edition of this cookbook.
Thank you to Ulysses Press for the review copy. Also, I am grateful to Mizuba Tea Company for providing the culinary grade matcha used in the preparation of these recipes. I would recommend their cooking matcha.